Mental Health: A Priority, Not a Benefit

Written by Nicholas Bryson, Talent Acquisition Specialist at Kroo

About one in six adults suffers from a common mental illness in the United Kingdom1, such as depression, generalised anxiety disorder (GAD), panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)2. Oftentimes, these struggles can end up affecting every aspect of an individual’s life — cancelled plans with friends or family, missed days at work, sleepless nights, and a host of other negative effects that are detrimental to one’s wellbeing. 

Over the last decade, conversations about mental health have helped to improve social support for — and acceptance of — individuals suffering from mental illnesses3; however, such conversations did not see such widespread acceptance in the workplace until much more recently. 

Due to mandated COVID-19 mitigation measures, companies had to quickly adapt and  implement procedures to best support their employees in new remote work environments, such as at their kitchen table or in their new, makeshift, spare-bedroom-turned-home-office setups. 

With these changes, came a newfound acceptance of mental health conversation in the workplace and employers taking more action to support their employees during such tumultuous times — many opting to create mental health and wellbeing protocols and to implement personal health days4. Some organisations went as far as to partner with mental health agencies to get their employees the help they need when they need it, which is what we’ve chosen to do. 

Early this past December, we (our People Team here at Kroo)  revealed a new partnership with Spill, a wellbeing tech startup that aims to provide comprehensive mental health support for employees. According to their website, Spill “provides therapy sessions, manager mental health training, and regular feelings check-ins — embedded into your company’s Slack.” 

Based on the outcomes reported on their website5, the interventions appear to be working. Spill’s one-off therapy sessions boast an impressive rating of 9.3/10, which is based on over 10,000 client experiences. They also state that, on average, participants experience a 52% reduction in anxiety and a 43% reduction in depression, as measured by standard NHS evaluations. 

Internal interviews with our employees appear to lend support for Spill’s reported statistics. After having a one-off session with a Spill counsellor, one employee wrote:

I was feeling a bit overwhelmed with work and home life and I could feel some of my old ways of thinking creeping back in. So I booked a session. It was super easy to book, the counsellor I spoke to was really friendly and didn’t judge me. I felt good knowing I had taken some action myself and he was able to give me some tips to actively put into my daily life to help with my thought process. I really feel like it’s a great service and it’s a comfort knowing that Kroo takes mental wellbeing seriously.

Another employee gave Spill a try and stated the following:

I booked a session with nothing specific in mind but just a few vague areas. Found the therapist lead session an incredibly useful way of offloading things I had been carrying around for ages. Planning to book a session every couple of months to stay on top of some of these areas.

While we are glad to hear such great feedback from our Kroo teammates regarding Spill, we recognize that supporting employee mental health and wellbeing requires us to go above and beyond making a few resources available and enacting a few topical initiatives. For us here at Kroo, mental health is a priority, not a benefit — part of our culture, not just our branding. 

If you’re experiencing mental health distress or need urgent services:

  • call 999 or go to an A&E  if someone’s life is at risk
  • call 111 for non-emergent but urgent advice or GP appointments
  • call 116 123 to talk to Samaritans, or email jo@samaritans.org for a reply within 24 hours
  • speak to your GP about a referral to NHS psychological services, or refer yourself directly for help

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